Wife, neighbors call pilot calm and humble

Jan. 16, 2009 at 5:18 PM
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DANVILLE, Calif., Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The wife of the pilot who brought a planeload of passengers down safely in the Hudson River in New York called him a real professional Friday.

Lorrie Sullenberger spoke to the news media outside the Danville, Calif., home she shares with her husband and their two daughters, the Contra Costa Times reported. She found TV crews and reporters outside the house when she woke up.

She said that her husband, a "humble man," called to tell her he had been involved in an "incident" in terms that left her thinking he had been in a fender bender in the parking lot.

"This is the Sully I know," she said. "I always knew this is how he would react to something. He's a consummate professional."

Chesley Sullenberger, with his engines gone due to an apparent collision with geese and no airport within reach, landed in the river Thursday afternoon shortly after taking off from LaGuardia Airport. The US Airways jet came down near a Manhattan ferry terminal and captains and crews quickly rescued the passengers.

Joe Green, a neighbor, described Sullenberger as a "calm person." Green, who is blind, said that both Sullenberger and his wife have helped him.

"He is exactly what he performed," Green added.

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